December 18th, 2013 by Jacqui Blanton

Holiday Traditions Around the World

Okay, so we all have that weird uncle who thinks that his Christmas sweater is really cool and not part of the ugly Christmas sweater contest. Then there’s that aunt who always makes her traditional fruit cake that has berries in it that look and taste exactly like olives. Or how about the traditional Merry Christmas song that goes, “Grandma got run over by a reindeer.” Weird, but remember, there are holiday traditions that even your aunt and uncle would be surprised at. Happy Holidays y’all!

  • Iceland: the Christmas cat. In many Icelandic families, those who finished all their work on time receive new clothes for Christmas. Those who are lazy don’t. Therefore, to encourage kids to work hard, parents told their children the tale of the Yule Cat. This cat can tell who the lazy children are because they don’t have at least one new item of clothing for Christmas. If there are no new clothes, you will be sacrificed to the Yule Cat!
  • Sweden. Every Christmas Eve, families gather around the TV at 3 pm to watch Donald Duck and his friends wish you a Merry Christmas.
  • Latvia. The mummers is a tradition associated more with the winter solstice than Christmas and dates back to pagan times when people used to try to do magic to encourage the sun to return before daylight disappeared. Customs of a Latvian Christmas are like those of Halloween trick-or-treaters. They go from house to house wearing masks and usually disguised as some kind of animal or the spirit of death. They play music and bestow blessings on the homes they visit and are given food to eat.
  • Krampusnacht. Devil Krampus is the anti Santa Clause. Instead of delivering gifts to good boys and girls, he brings naughty children coal, or worse, he carries them off in his sack. Around the world people celebrate Krampusnacht on December 6, when you are able to see a beastly creature parading the streets in search of people to devour.

Happy Holidays y’all!

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